Melbourne win by 11 points
Having watched his side go six goals down at the first change against an unbeaten side Ron Barassi may have been forgiven, for once, for ranting and raving like a madman. Instead he gave his troops a simple message - don't throw the next three quarters away because of the first.
In front of a hostile crowd, at a game where they hadn't won since 1972 it looked like another disappointing trip home for the fans who had travelled to Geelong in the hope of finally seeing a victory at Kardinia Park. 11 minutes into the second quarter the home team were 43 points in front and their backline seemed impossible to breach.
The game turned when Kelvin Templeton kicked his first at the 14 minute mark. He goalled again before half time but looked proppy and still not yet over his injuries. After half time he didn't need to do much physical work to get his goals because his teammates kept supplying him with ease. Suddenly the Demons were full of run. Templeton kicked five in the third quarter and the visitors were three goals in front at the last change. Important moves by the coach included switching Brian Wilson from the centre to the forward pocket, and switching Steven Icke and Peter Giles at centre half-back and centr half-forward.
Two early goals in the last seemed to put the result beyond doubt but for the second time that day there was a comeback, this time by the Cats. Geelong might have won had they not missed three gettable shots near the end of the game.
Templeton's biggest haul since 1979 made him the toast of the Demons and in the rooms after the match Alan Johnson sat with his arm around the forward yelling "He's arrived! He's arrived!" It would be Templeton's best performance for the Demons.
After his first defeat as Geelong coach, Tom Hafey lamented that his side weren’t desperate enough after quarter time, while Barassi said: “It was a fantastic fighting effort by the guys. If we’d shown the depth of such desperation in previous weeks, we’d be undefeated now”.
Best were Templeton, O'Donnell and Seddon. Giles suffered a groin injury and Bamblett a corked leg. Adrian Battiston was reported for 'insulting language' after sticking two fingers up at an umpire but was cleared. The umpire argued that he was given the gesture after refusing Battiston a free kick, but the tribunal bought the Melbourne man’s claim that he was giving an “outward sweep of the hand”, not the two-finger signal.
Geelong 14.19.103 d. Melbourne 13.14.92
Goals - Philby 5, Barnes 3, Hutchison 2, Withers 2, Cordner 1
Best - Withers, Philby, Tossol
Melbourne 16.10.106 d. Geelong 9.9.63
Goals - Fidge 3, Wight 3, Howard 2, Lawrence 2, Ward 2, Bailey 1, Healy 1, Newport 1, Yeats 1
Best - Ward, Johnston, McDonald